Soellner’s Dispatch # 10

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Dear loyal readers: I spent the last weekend of April at the Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley, where I shared a table with fellow California author Justin McFarr. I sold some books and met friends and other authors new and old and I had a good time.

In this Dispatch I’m sharing excerpts of my favorite reviews of my first three books: The Perilous Journey, The Storm That Shook the World and An Incident in Africa. Reviews are the second part of an author’s conversation with their readers, the part where the reader talks back to the author. That’s why it’s important for you to write reviews of what you have read. It’s a great help to the author and is very much appreciated. So please, write even a short review of a favorite book. Here are some resent review comments I’ve received:

“…Soellner has nicely captured the social and geographical history of the pre-WWI era… he delivers a historically accurate and exciting vision of what it must have been like … a page-turner never tempted to linger too long in any one spot, [i]t sweeps the reader along from the Forbidden City of Peking to the far-flung ports of call across a globe still considered vast and filled with exotic possibilities.”

–Deborah Hudson, review of The Perilous Journey on Amazon

At its absolute most basic, Kalvarianhof: The Perilous Journey is a “buddy book” which chronicles the friendship between two men, one a Christian and one a Jew, and their aptly put “perilous journey” during times of strife amid some of history’s bleakest or most glorious moments … The book starts off in 1900 during the outbreak of the Boxer Rebellion as the two friends, Markus and Levi are caught up in the fighting … Soellner’s love of his subject matter brought the material alive through … vivid descriptions of time and place, complemented by an array of historical photographs.

–Marta Cheng, review of The Perilous Journey on Amazon

The Storm that Shook the World is a good read for those of us who have grown weary of books that rely on the shock value of gratuitous violence, stress and despicable characters. In the Kalvarianhof saga, not only are all of the members of the Levi and Mathias family likeable, but even the heroes’ wartime enemies are men of admirable character. … Markus and Levi are the glue that holds this episodic saga together … and the yin and yang of their contrasting characters makes them both better and more interesting.

–Rose Anna Higashi, review of The Storm That Shook the World on Amazon

Imagine flying a small single-engine biplane across Africa while dodging weather and British troops  and a hostile ground environment at same time. … Soellner has a wonderful knack for detailing events and action in “the moment” and then transporting you ahead in time without making you feel any details have been skipped… Challenging story line, historical backstop, action galore – all contribute to my characterization of this book as a “page-burner”.

–David G., review of The Storm That Shook the World on Amazon

Question from Quiz 9:

How many of these provisions were finally included in the Treaty of Versailles?

  1. Blame for the war will not be assigned to any country.
  2. There will be no reparations demanded by either side.
  3. There will be no exchange of territories between countries.
  4. Full diplomatic relations will be immediately established between all countries.
  5. The establishment of a League of Nations to settle international disputes.
  6. The United States Senate will vote to approve the League of Nations.

Answer to Quiz 9:

The Versailles Treaty included only the creation of the League of Nations.  President Wilson fought very hard to include the five points and to get the senate to approve the Treaty, but to no avail. America never became a member of the League of Nations. President Wilson predicted that without a strong League, a Second World War could result within one generation. Tragically, he proved correct.

Quiz 10:

As part of the reparations demanded by the United States of Germany after World War One, which one(1) of these did America request?

  1. Germany must forfeit the Mercedes Benz Automobile Company to the U.S.
  2. Germany must help Henry Ford sell U.S. cars in Germany and meet a quota.
  3. Germany must build a Zeppelin to give the U.S.
  4. Germany must relinquish a naval base on the North Sea to the U.S. Navy.
  5. Germany must hand over Kaiser Wilhelm for trial in Switzerland.
  6. Germany must train U.S. pilots and build airplanes for the U.S. Air Force.

Look for the answer to quiz 10’s question in my next dispatch!

Until then remember, a good book is a friend forever!

Walter Soellner

waltersoellner@gmail.com          waltersoellner.com

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The books so far in my series:

  1. Kalvarianhof, The Perilous Journey
  2. The Storm That Shook the World
  3. An Incident in Africa

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